TORONTO — Energy and technology lifted Canada's main stock index mid-week while U.S. stock markets staged a late rally on the eve of that country's Thanksgiving holiday due to positive economic data including jobless claims hitting a 52-year low.
"After a difficult start to the day, equity markets staged a fairly healthy rebound," said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.
"The catalyst for the rebound today was largely a result of the U.S. economic data that revealed that the economy remains on solid ground."
Initial jobless claims fell to 199,000 last week in the U.S., the lowest level since 1969, while consumer spending data strengthened despite a sharp acceleration in inflationary pressures.
Consumer prices rose five per cent compared with the same period last year, the fastest 12-month gain since the same stretch ending in November 1990.
The core inflation number, which the U.S. Federal Reserve watches closely, accelerated 4.1 per cent in October from the prior year, in line with forecasts.
"I think the data just underscores the underlying strength in the economy and the fact that stronger inflationary pressures have not yet cut into the economy or the outlook for the U.S. economy," she said in an interview.
While retail sales are expected to be strong this holiday season, large retailer Gap saw its shares plunge 24.1 per cent while Nordstrom's fell 29 per cent after reporting very weak quarterly results amid supply chain problems.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 94.66 points to 21,548.43.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rebounded in late trading and was down just 9.42 points at 35,804.38. The S&P 500 index was up 10.76 points at 4,701.46, while the Nasdaq composite was up 70.09 points at 15,845.23.
Trading volumes were thin late in the day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday and shut early on Friday.
Energy, health care and technology were the leading sectors on the TSX.
Energy rose 1.8 per cent despite a small decrease in crude oil prices with Meg Energy Corp. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. up 3.6 and 2.5 per cent, respectively.
The January crude contract was down 11 cents at US$78.39 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was up 7.9 cents at US$5.11 per mmBTU.
Oil prices have rebounded with markets "seemingly underwhelmed" by news of the co-ordinated release of strategic reserves from the U.S. along with other top consuming nations such as China, Japan, India, the U.K., South Korea, said Bangsund.
Prices eased back on Wednesday following a report showing U.S. stockpiles rose last week to a new four-week high.
She said there's also speculation that OPEC and its allies may at their meeting next week reconsider plans to add more supply to the market.
The Canadian dollar traded for 78.88 cents US compared with 78.70 cents US on Tuesday.
Health care was up 1.8 per cent as shares of cannabis producers increased, including Organigram Inc. up 5.4 per cent and Tilray Inc. 3.7 per cent higher.
Technology increased 1.4 per cent as shares of Lightspeed Commerce Inc. were up 3.5 per cent and Shopify Inc. rose 3.3 per cent.
Consumer staples was the laggard on the day. It lost 1.9 per cent as Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. fell 4.6 per cent after the convenience store retailer slightly missed analyst forecasts.
Materials was slightly lower, despite a slight increase in gold prices after hitting a three-week low.
The December gold contract was up 50 cents at US$1,784.30 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 3.6 cents at US$4.46 a pound.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2021.
Companies in this story: (TSX:MEG, TSX:CNQ, TSX:LSPD, TSX:SHOP, TSX:ATD.B, TSX:OGI, TSX:TLRY, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press